Eritrea is a small African country located on the eastern coast of the continent, bordering the Red Sea. The country is one of the poorest in the world, prone to drought, locust infestations, and the threat of volcanic eruptions.
Interesting facts about Eritrea:
● The capital of Eritrea is Asmara.
● The population of Eritrea is 6 million people.
● Eritrea shares borders with Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti.
● The country has no official language – all languages are equal. The unofficial main languages are Tigrinya and Arabic.
● In the past, Eritrea has often been in a state of war, colonization, and territorial disputes. It was only in 1993 that the country managed to gain independence from Ethiopia.
● Since gaining independence, the country has never held presidential or national elections. It is a one-party state with only one president who expressed his disdain for Western-style democracy.
● Due to constant droughts, the country cannot provide for itself in terms of agriculture. Food is imported from neighboring countries (about 90%), and access to clean drinking water is severely limited.
● Despite unfavorable conditions, the population growth rate in the country is staggering! In the last two decades, the population has increased by a quarter. There are five children per woman.
● In ancient times, the country was one of the richest, and its territory was called the “Land of the Gods.” It traded in such valuables as gold, spices, ivory, ebony, and slaves.
● A rather strange local landmark is the “iron” reefs. Eritreans found nothing better than to throw away broken equipment and vehicles, which were once given to them by the USSR. As a result, an artificial reef was formed, which is a favorite place for divers.
● In the northern part of the country, there is the Nakfa Catacomb City. Tourists are drawn to this place because it is a unique example of an underground city that was built in the 1980s during the Eritrean War of Independence.
● Eritrea has a unique railway that connects the capital, Asmara, with the port city of Massawa. The railway was built during the Italian colonial period in the early 20th century and is considered an engineering marvel.
● The country has a vibrant arts scene, with many musicians, painters, and poets. However, freedom of expression is limited, and artists have to be careful not to cross any red lines.
● Eritrea is home to several ethnic groups, and each has its own unique customs and traditions. The Bilen people, for example, are known for their traditional dance, which is performed during weddings and other celebrations.
● The country has a diverse landscape, ranging from mountains and highlands to desert plains and beaches. It is home to many rare and endangered species, such as the Dahlak archipelago, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
● Eritrea is one of the few countries in the world that has never joined the United Nations. It is not a member of any regional or international organization and is often criticized for its human rights record.